Across the United States, drivers struck and killed an estimated 7,485 pedestrians in 2021. That amounts to 20 pedestrian deaths per day on average.
According to 2021 statistics from the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, 12.7% of pedestrians involved in a motor vehicle crash died.
These numbers do not include pedestrians that sustained serious, but not fatal, injuries.
If you’ve been struck by a vehicle while walking, you can file a claim against the driver to recover compensation for your injuries.
You may wonder about the average pedestrian accident settlement in North Carolina.
Perhaps you have medical bills and other costs and want to know what you can expect from a pedestrian accident settlement.
It’s difficult to determine an average pedestrian accident settlement amount. Many factors contribute to the value of a pedestrian accident claim, all specific to each case.
However, If you need help understanding the value of your particular claim, contact our office today.
Factors That Impact Pedestrian Accident Settlements
You’d like to know, What is the average pedestrian accident settlement in North Carolina? There are a number of factors used to determine the value of a pedestrian accident settlement.
Every pedestrian accident claim is unique, and thus compensation amounts vary. The specific circumstances of your claim will drive your potential settlement amount.
The Severity of Your Injuries
If you are severely injured by someone else’s negligence, you should not be held financially responsible for the costly outcome.
Generally, the more serious the injury, the greater the need for financial compensation. An injured party can seek compensation for their medical bills and costs.
A permanent injury, like facial scarring, loss of a limb, or paralysis, will incur greater medical costs than an injury that does not carry life-changing implications.
An injured pedestrian may also recover past and future lost wages due to an inability to work.
In some cases, the victim may be able to return to work, but in other cases, this may not be a possibility because of the nature of the injury.
The physical and emotional pain each pedestrian experiences due to the accident is also a factor.
This type of compensation, called non-economic damages, is highly fact specific and often difficult to calculate.
It covers pain, suffering, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Who Was At Fault
It is important to understand who is at fault in an accident where a pedestrian is hit by a car. North Carolina is one of few states that follows the rule of pure contributory negligence.
Under this rule, if the plaintiff is found even 1% at fault for the accident, they are barred from legal recovery and will not receive any compensation for their injuries.
Most insurance companies have lawyers who know how to work the system. Because this law is so strict, it is important to have sufficient evidence to prove that you were not at fault.
An experienced North Carolina attorney can conduct an independent investigation into your claim and acquire the necessary evidence to prove that you were not at fault.
One percent leaves no margin for error, so you need an attorney that understands how insurance companies think.
The Driver’s Insurance Coverage
North Carolina is an at-fault state for car accident insurance liability.
That means that if you are a pedestrian hit by a car, the driver’s insurance company is generally responsible for covering the cost of your injuries. North Carolina requires all drivers to carry minimum liability insurance coverage.
The minimum coverage must include the following:
- $30,000 for bodily injury for one person,
- $60,000 for bodily injury for two or more people, and
- $25,000 for property damage.
If the expenses associated with your injuries exceed the driver’s insurance policy maximum, you may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to cover your remaining expenses.
Your attorney can help you determine the best approach.
Average Pedestrian Accident Settlement In North Carolina
Every accident is unique, which makes it difficult to determine the average pedestrian accident settlement in North Carolina.
Injuries may range from minor to catastrophic. The degree of injury will have a meaningful impact on compensation along with the other factors previously noted.
For example, one pedestrian injured in a car accident could recover within a few days. Their lost wages would be minimal. Plus, their medical bills wouldn’t be significant.
However, another pedestrian could sustain considerable injuries, requiring them to be out of work for months. Plus, they’ll accumulate considerable medical costs.
These two pedestrians would have different potential settlement values because their damages differ.
How Long Does It Take To Settle a Pedestrian Accident?
It is worth noting that a quick settlement is not always the best. Insurance companies may benefit from knowing that you need to pay the medical bills that you are incurring right now.
Because of that, you are more likely to accept a settlement that is less than what your claim is worth.
You do not have to accept an insurance settlement, but once you do, you cannot go back and ask for more.
It is important to understand the full extent of your medical costs, treatment, and other potential damages before you accept a settlement. This can impact how long it takes to settle.
Negotiating a suitable settlement can take weeks, months, and even years. It all depends on the circumstances of your claim.
If you choose to pursue a case in court, you must file a claim within three years of the date the accident occurred.
North Carolina Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Our attorneys began their careers as defense attorneys and have represented insurance companies and large corporations.
That means we know how they work and how to best represent injured victims such as those who have been in a pedestrian accident.
Let us guide you through the process of building the best legal strategy for your situation. Contact us to schedule a case consultation.